Rep. Paul Graves introduces first bill as state lawmaker
Rep. Paul Graves, R-Fall City, announced his first bill as a state legislator this week.
House Bill 1076, if adopted, will call upon the Washington State Board of Health (BOH) to adopt new rules permitting home-prepared food to be donated to charitable organizations for distribution.
“In Issaquah last year, a charitable group organizing meals for the homeless and needy was shut down because the meals were home-cooked.” said Graves. “I was stunned to learn that current law forbids charities and churches from accepting and serving meals prepared in homes.”
Under current law, any home-prepared food donated to homeless shelters or other charitable organizations cannot be distributed to the public.
“Charitable families and organizations that go out of their way to help those in need are the backbone of our communities,” said Graves. “We should be making it easier for these individuals and groups to help others, not more difficult. This change would be a commonsense step to empower our communities and allow the support that already exists to work the way it should.”
While Graves' bill would allow homeless shelters and charitable organizations to accept home-prepared food, food handlers would still be required to meet all necessary safety requirements as outlined by the BOH.
House Bill 1076 has bipartisan support, and has been referred to the House committee on Health Care and Wellness, where it awaits a hearing.
###Washington State House Republican Communications